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Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

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Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby stomperrob » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:25 pm

Mark Craig: It's not a label Childress wants, but it's applicable: Steckelesque
Those in attendance Sunday can watch the first Metrodome NFL game between a 3-6 team and a 2-7 one since ... 1984, a k a the Les Steckel season.

By Mark Craig, Star Tribune
Last update: November 12, 2007 – 11:03 PM


Les Steckel is a fine man. He served his country in Vietnam, was a strong NFL assistant and has been an inspirational president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

But old Les remains the one man in NFL circles that no head coach wants to be compared to. In any way. EV-er.

Sorry Brad Childress, but here it comes:

It has taken 23 years, but we now have a tie for the worst home 10th game of the season in the 46-year history of the Minnesota Vikings.

In 1984, Steckel's 2-7 Vikings played the 3-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Metrodome. Sunday, Childress' 3-6 Vikings play the 2-7 Oakland Raiders at the Metrodome.

Plenty of good seats are available.

The Vikings have started 3-6 or worse only eight times since they were founded in 1961: 2007, 2002 (2-7), 1990 (3-6), 1984, 1967 (2-5-2), 1963 (3-6), 1962 (2-7) and 1961 (2-7). Among those seasons, the Vikings have played a home 10th game against another team with a losing record only twice before this season: 1984 and 1963 vs. the 4-5 Baltimore Colts.

Steckel rode a 16-7 loss at Chicago into his 10th game in 1984. Norm Van Brocklin was coming off a 28-7 loss at Green Bay entering his 10th game in 1963. And Childress was nipped at Lambeau 34-0 on Sunday.

Did we mention plenty of good seats are available?

The Vikings' record isn't what puzzles me. I figured it would take a full season of lumps for Childress to figure out whether Tarvaris Jackson could make it as an NFL quarterback. After all, Childress obviously had committed to the young man since he left himself no other viable option.

Childress isn't a close, personal friend, and I still was one of the lonely voices arguing to give him a full season to groom Jackson. But after four preseason games and nine more in the regular season, all we know is Jackson likes to wear his baseball cap backwards and Childress couldn't possibly have messed up his quarterback situation any worse than it is right now.

Either Jackson lacks any ounce of grit that all good quarterbacks must have, or Childress has babied him to the point that it looks as if an entire preseason and regular season will pass without the team definitively answering the No. 1 basic question that has faced the future of the franchise every since he was drafted in the second round in 2006: Can Jackson ever play quarterback in the National Football League?

Jackson barely played in the preseason and has missed all or parts of six regular-season games this season. So, basically, at every key point of the season, either Jackson has shrunk from the extra responsibility that goes with playing quarterback or Childress has overprotected him.

In Week 2, with the Vikings heading toward overtime in Detroit, Jackson injured his groin and left the field so fast, poor Brooks Bollinger didn't even have time to warm up. The Vikings lost with Jackson on the sideline and Lions quarterback Jon Kitna back on the field after a first-half concussion.

The next week, when Robert Ferguson was wide open for what should have been a touchdown at Kansas City, Jackson was on the sideline, still hobbling. Kelly Holcomb overthrew Ferguson. The Vikings lost by three.

When the Vikings played Green Bay at home back in September, Jackson was still hurt. The Vikings lost. When they played their next home game, Jackson was out again (finger). The Vikings lost to Philadelphia.

And then came the most puzzling game of all -- Sunday at Lambeau. Jackson was coming off yet another injury (concussion), but was healthy enough to serve as the No. 2 quarterback. He never stepped on the field as the Vikings were getting whipped in the worst loss to the Packers in franchise history.

What the heck is going on?

By the way, an announced 54,949 fans watched Steckel and the Vikings beat the Bucs 27-24 on Nov. 4, 1984. Steckel didn't win another game, finishing his one NFL head coaching season at 3-13.

Bud Grant came out of retirement for one season in 1985.

It's too early to make any predictions. But it might be time to tell Bud to start warming up.



Where Childress stacks up
By Mark Craig, Star Tribune

Last update: November 11, 2007 – 8:12 PM


The regular-season records of the seven new NFL coaching hires in 2006:
Mike McCarthy, Packers 16-9

Sean Payton, Saints 14-11

Eric Mangini, Jets 11-14

Gary Kubiak, Texans 10-15

Brad Childress, Vikings 9-16

Scott Linehan, Rams 9-16

Rod Marinelli, Lions 9-16
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby russellzisky » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:37 pm

Almost every fan and many sports radio commentators are calling for Childress's head here in MN. It's funny to think this team dominated San Diego just two weeks ago, but it was almost all due to Adrian Peterson - if it wasn't for him, Chilly would be looking at a 1-8 record instead of 3-6.

The thing is, not only is Childress an unbelievably terrible coach, he always acts like he's the smartest person in the room in his press conferences... very condescending to reporters who question his strategies and whatnot. The guy is so monotone, it's unreal - I just don't see how he could motivate any of his players.

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward, because every week seems to expose new flaws in the way this team is being run. I don't really expect it to get any better.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby russellzisky » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:37 pm

Almost every fan and many sports radio commentators are calling for Childress's head here in MN. It's funny to think this team dominated San Diego just two weeks ago, but it was almost all due to Adrian Peterson - if it wasn't for him, Chilly would be looking at a 1-8 record instead of 3-6.

The thing is, not only is Childress an unbelievably terrible coach, he always acts like he's the smartest person in the room in his press conferences... very condescending to reporters who question his strategies and whatnot. The guy is so monotone, it's unreal - I just don't see how he could motivate any of his players.

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward, because every week seems to expose new flaws in the way this team is being run. I don't really expect it to get any better.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby BlueBandit24 » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:21 pm

russellzisky wrote:Almost every fan and many sports radio commentators are calling for Childress's head here in MN. It's funny to think this team dominated San Diego just two weeks ago, but it was almost all due to Adrian Peterson - if it wasn't for him, Chilly would be looking at a 1-8 record instead of 3-6.

The thing is, not only is Childress an unbelievably terrible coach, he always acts like he's the smartest person in the room in his press conferences... very condescending to reporters who question his strategies and whatnot. The guy is so monotone, it's unreal - I just don't see how he could motivate any of his players.

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward, because every week seems to expose new flaws in the way this team is being run. I don't really expect it to get any better.


Well said. Childress is always laying the blame at the feet his players, with his infamous "kick-a** offense comments". He always says the scheme is great it's just not being executed properly. He took a team with a great offense, neutered it, brought in "his guys" and proceeded to make it one of the more embarrassing offenses in recent memory. The only salvation for this offense is that it has AD, a guy whom was acquired through the draft, a process in which Childress had little say this year. With AD out, the anemic nature of this offense will really be obvious.

Mike Tice even coached circles around this guy.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby russellzisky » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:58 pm

The other thing that's hilarious is he keeps inviting cast-offs from his old team the Philadelphia Eagles to play with the Vikes.

Many of you outside of MN may not have heard this, but he had Koy Detmer come in and practice for three days 'cause it looked like we'd maybe need a back-up QB. Ended up paying him $90,000 and Koy's work is done... he practiced three days and now he's gone! They could've easily gotten some guy for a whole lot cheaper who would've been just as quality as Detmer at QB. That's a hefty chunk of change to give a guy who's not even very likely to appear in a game.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby moochman » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:33 pm

BlueBandit24 wrote:Mike Tice even coached circles around this guy.


And I thought the Les Steckle comment was damming enough.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby AllDay » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:59 am

I think the Steckel comparison is a bit forced.

Steckel took over after Bud Grant retired, and turned training camp into boot camp. He was a disciplinarian and the team revolted against him.

Chilly just passed Steckel's 3 W total, and has 7 games to go.

Steckel also had some solid vets playing the key offensive production positions. Tommy Kramer and Wade Wilson at QB, Sammy White at WR, Ted Brown and Darrin Nelson at RB, Steve Jordan at TE. Steckel had some talent to work with offensively.

Chilly came in with Chester Taylor and not much else on offense. With considerably less talent, Chilly doubled Steckels win total in his first year. He'll probably double it again this year - without the team revolt.

I'm not convinced Chilly is really worth keeping around another year - but I think a HC should be given 3 years to build his team (especially when you come in with next to nothing). I wouldn't be first in line calling for his head, but I guess I'd understand it.
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Re: Sharpening the axe in Minnesota???

Postby BlueBandit24 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:25 am

AllDay wrote:I think the Steckel comparison is a bit forced.

Steckel had some talent to work with offensively.

Chilly came in with Chester Taylor and not much else on offense. With considerably less talent, Chilly doubled Steckels win total in his first year. He'll probably double it again this year - without the team revolt.


This is where you lost me. He had Chester Taylor last year, and AD this year along with Chester. Throw in perennial Pro-Bowlers in Steve Hutchinson and Matt Birk on the line, and you have some talent to work with. He also had a Super-Bowl winning, albeit old QB to work with in Brad Johnson. Yesterday they picked up a win but should have won that game by 20+ and the fact that Oakland was in it until the end really makes me want Childress gone even more.

The team pretty much quit the last game of the year against the Rams last season, so I'd count that as a team revolt. Marcus Robinson was cut for disagreeing with Childress. Maybe he has changed his ways a little this season, but he's still a terrible tactitioner and horrible game-manager. He came in as a noted "QB guru" and has already cycled through 5 starting QB's along with failing to develop "his guy" in Tarvaris Jackson at all to this point.
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